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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Kids' Craft: Turkey Pumpkin

Don't throw those pumpkins out yet! If you have any whole ones still around that survived the jack-o-lantern days, bring them in the house for continued decor!  Pumpkins are festive for Thanksgiving, both on their own and all dressed up as turkeys. See: 

Every year my kids make sure we save at least one pumpkin to make into a turkey. Because they love this fabric craft so much, I thought yours might love it too!  The kids can help cut out the felt pieces and pin them in place. And the best part of this project is that the pieces are reusable year after year. It is quite an easy tradition, and I think it is these little things, done with those we love, that make holidays so special. 

So here is what you'll need to make your own turkey pumpkin:

1 pumpkin, any size
Several colors of felt
Stiff interfacing or cardstock
Pins (flat top work best) 
Fabric scissors
2 buttons or eye stickers

Step 1: Print the templates (link above) and cut out the pattern pieces. Each piece is marked. Lay the wing and feet pattern pieces on the right colors of felt and cut them out. That's it for these pieces! 

Step 2: Cut out the rectangle base and at least 7 feathers, using different colors for a fun effect. Glue the felt feathers onto cardstock and then cut them out. OR iron the felt feathers onto stiff interfacing and cut out.  Arrange the feathers into a fan shape, meeting on the base at the bottom, as shown above, and then staple or sew them in place. (We used staples.)  Your tail is now ready. 

Step 3: Cut out the two large head pieces and three smaller face pieces. Place the two head pieces together with right sides facing and then slide in the smaller pieces as shown with the blue arrows above, being sure to point them inward, opposite of how they will be when we turn them out. (For example, in this step the beak will be pointing toward the back of the head so that when we turn it out the point will be facing the front.)  The small red piece goes on top and the large red piece goes on the bottom. Use the next picture as guidance. Now pin all the pieces in place, including the two large head pieces, and sew with a 1/4" allowance around the neck and head curve, as shown in yellow above. 

Step 4: Turn the head right side out. It should look like the photo above.  If any parts don't look right, you can go back and try again. (Or give up and use glue. That has been done before.)   

Glue the eyes in place, one on each side of the head. 

The pieces are all ready and now we just need to assemble it with our pumpkin and pins!

Start by placing the tail where it looks good to you from the front. Hold it in place for the next step. (Your little helpers come in handy here.) 

On the back of the pumpkin, push several pins into the base of the tail. Go ahead and use as many pins as it takes to make the tail stable. 

(Warning: The pins will get rusty after a couple weeks. We throw them away each year.)

Now take the head piece and put it facing forward at an angle that seems natural for a turkey. Push one pin into each little curve of the turkey neck. (This is my kids' favorite part.)  Those 8 pins should keep it stable since felt tends to be stiff. If yours isn't stiff enough, you can stuff the head with polyfil or fabric scraps. 

Add one wing to each side using three pins at the front, leaving the back loose.  Notice the direction the wing is pointing. (My kids always try to put it on upside down.)  

Now pin the edge of each foot up into the bottom of the pumpkin. You'll have to tip the turkey for this step. 

Finally, you will move your turkey pumpkin to a festive habitat and you are all done!  

How fun is that?!  And it is just as easy to make multiple kits of these turkey pieces while you're at it, and I think they'd be a pretty fun gift for your other friends who have kids.  The more the merrier.

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

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